Only 0.56 percent disabled students in higher education: Survey

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Only 0.56 percent of students with disabilities are pursuing higher education in the country, a survey has revealed.

The percentage of people with disabilities employed in the public sector is around 1 percent and in the private sector the figure is around 0.5 percent, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) survey data on employment over the past two decades shows.

The annual survey of NCPEDP was conducted to know the status of students with disabilities in colleges and universities across India.

The NCPEDP on Thursday launched a campaign called ‘Equality+20’ to mark 20 years of the Disability Act of 1995, India’s first ever disability rights legislation.

“While these may seem like very dismal figures, and at some level they are, but we have to be cognizant of the fact that India started from below zero before the 1995 Act,” Javed Abidi, honorary director, NCPEDP, said.

The campaign will celebrate the journey of the past 20 years, the successes towards equality, while introspecting on the missed targets and devising a roadmap for the coming years.

“While it is true that the country still has a long way to go when it comes to disability rights, it is equally important to recognise that all the successes we have had so far would not have been possible had the country not started its journey towards equality and inclusion 20 years ago,” he said.

Equality+20 will showcase 20 ‘stories of change’ on how the 1995 law positively affected an ordinary disabled person’s life.

“It is not just our campaign. We encourage the government, corporates, media and the entire civil society to own this campaign and to say that yes, disability rights matter,” urged Abidi.

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